21 April 2009

The drudgery of it all


Life is full of drudgery, and it's not only the 'stay-at-home' mums like me that find this... I am sure everyone has drudgery to some degree in their lives.

You know what I am talking about... the preparation of food for meals, the dishes, washing, cleaning, changing nappies, endless hours spent playing little games with little tots, mowing the lawns etc (I don't actually mow the lawns, but I'm trying to include my male readers here!). It's not just the fact that these jobs need doing... but the fact that they will need doing again, and again, and again, day after day, year after year. That's drudgery.

I recently read this amazing article titled, "Finding God in the Drudgery" by Jodi Martens. It was really really good.

She confesses in the article that when she left her executive job to raise her kids full time she was about to have a full-scale identity crisis.

"Overnight I felt like I had gone from being a successful career woman to a scullery maid. My days consisted of preparing food (and immediately watching it be consumed), desperately trying to keep up with the dishes and doing at least one load of spit-up-infused laundry a day. I vigorously worked from early-morning feedings to late-night story time, only to know I would have to do it all over again the next day... and the next day... and the next day. This was my life for the foreseeable future. The thought terrified me."

Does anyone out there identify with her? I did... and still do at times.

She decided that she didn't want to live the next 18 years or so dreading every moment, so set out in search of some answers. And surprisingly it was the work of a 17th century monk that spoke to her the most... Brother Lawrence.


Brother Lawrence worked in the kitchen of a Carmelite monastery for over 40 years and viewed every day as a precious gift from God. To him, every task, no matter how small, was of great spiritual significance. His work was his worship because he offered it in love to God. "We can do little things for God," he wrote. "I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him...".

Wow.

Simon Carey Holt, a theologian at the University of Melbourne, says, "Spirituality is about all of life and all of who we are. It has to do with moments of retreat and rush-hour traffic, with periods of silence and the noise of little children, with hushed Sunday worship and frantic family dinners. The promise of 'God with us' is not confined to the mountaintop."

I like that. We have plenty of frantic family dinners at our place.

Jodi Martins goes on in the article to suggest that the seemingly inglorious tasks we turn up our noses at are an often overlooked form of worship. "Because many of us tend to separate our lives into 'secular' and 'sacred', we tend to see the chores that accompany child-rearing and housekeeping etc. as purely secular... but that act of making meals, sorting the recycling and wiping your child's runny nose are just as spiritual as other 'religious' activities when done with the right attitude" she says.

Jean Pierre de Caussade, a 16th century monk encourages us to never look "for the holiness of things but only the holiness in things."

Interesting thoughts... hopefully you have been as inspired as I have. Now I must go and fold the washing!!


** Don't forget to enter my giveaway for Mandy here if you haven't already! If she's not quite your style, I am sure you have a mother or grandmother who might like her! **

16 comments:

  1. Oh yes, felt that drudgery panic/depression many a time! Still struggling to find the holiness in the washing up water though. Although I'm learning all about being diligent this week which relates to that!

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  2. I used to find the joy but after 21 years and the stresses of a broken marriage it doesn'y always work. But it is good to be reminded to keep on trying. Thankyou. I also have a giveaway but would love to enter yours as well. Please cout me in. Cherrie

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  3. Great read this is very relevant to anyone in any walk of life.

    Big ups to the stay at home mums I really appreciated it while growing up :)

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  4. Yes the drudgery is a killer, I bought a dishwasher because of the drudgery of washing up. Now I just need a magic wand for all of the other drudgery. (I can't include cooking meals here as my partner loves cooking, star man!).

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  5. Wow your blog looks fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome post-loved it!

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  6. W.I.F.E = Washing, Ironing, Food, Entertainment ;-)

    Whoops, actually I meant to say...

    W.I.F.E = Wow, Intelligent, Fantastic, Exceptional ;-)

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  7. I have drudgery everyday! I have a great life but it can still be stressful at times. i feel like I need more than 24 hours!
    tina

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  8. Yep, I'd rather be crafting than doing the housework!

    Funny how craft is never boring, and yet cleaning up is just so :( YUCK!

    Actually when I was small, and complained a lot about the simple things like tidying my bedroom, my grandma used to tell me to think about it as doing it for God. To think that, as she said it, the KING was coming over for afternoon tea later that day! I still don't know that it works. But...

    Sometimes, in the drudgery of daily life I wish I was a kid again! :)

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  10. Yep, I sure do feel like life isn't going the way i want it to, and when i am "high" in God things are good but in my low times when i feel like god isn't with me I really need a pick me up and usually it is going and buying something that I don't really need. Right now i am in a time like this and your blog has been truly inspiring! Thank you! :-) I might just go and find that book. :-)

    The thing that gets me down most is my boss seem to crave mess! I spent all day cleaning up on Monday to have my SIL come and stay the night. later on i went to the bathroom and they had pulled all the towels off the rail, I picked those up and moved on to the lounge and they had pulled all their toys out - not to play with, just to make mess...

    I am learning and growing in God and I'm not as pedantic as I used to be. LOL

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  11. Great post today. I have written down the quote by Simon Carey olt. Is a timely reminder for me. Thanks

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  12. thanks for that k :) as tak bhana puts in, serving God in the mundane is a privilege! Hope you get super blessed this week...

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  13. Btw, forgot to say, LOVE that first photo!! Too funny (and too disgusting a thought) for words!

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  14. Great Post Kristy! I battle feeling overwhelmed by the drudgery a lot. I love some of those quotes; very inspiring, and food for thought. xx

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  15. what a great post. Very inspiring. There is a part in a book called The Purpose Driven Life that states "Because God is with you all the time, no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now. The Bible says "He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything". Ephesians 4:6b (NCV)

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  16. Thanks for your comment on my page! - ans yes, very good taste in layout!! I love what you wrote. I think it is very true, and it can be terrifying. Thats why having a good laugh with the people that 'calm' you, is so important. IMO !!
    Love your work!
    Meg

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Thanks for your comments... I love hearing from you!!!

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